High cholesterol is considered a risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the USA. Fortunately, doing regular exercise can help lower cholesterol.
In conjunction with a healthy diet, starting an exercise program, and quitting smoking, can lower your total cholesterol significantly, and possibly help you to avoid taking medication to control your condition.
There are a many exercise programs out there, and most types of exercise routines, ranging from running to walking, and yoga, appear to have a positive impact when it comes to lowering triglycerides, and in raising HDL. Some best choices include:
6 Best Exercises for People with High Cholesterol:
1. Brisk Walking
Whether walking is much better as running for cardiovascular health has long been the subject of debate. Especially as one get older, walking can often be a much better exercise in terms of joint health protection.
Researchers reported on this in 2013 in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. They compared tens of thousands of runners to that of an equal number of walkers. Results reported that the amount of exercise was what mattered, not the type.
People who exerted the same level of energy upon exercising experienced the same benefits, whether they ran or walked. Benefits included reduced risk of high blood pressure abd high cholesterol.
It takes much longer to walk off calories than to run them off. If you burn about 300 calories either way, though, you have spent approximately the same amount of energy. You are likely to get the same benefits. Lead author of the study above, Paul Williams, said that walking about 4.3 miles at a brisk pace would take about the same amount of energy, the same as running three miles.
Cycling expends approximately the same energy as jogging, but it is easier on your joints. If you experience joint pain, it may be better to choose cycling over running.
Scientists have reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association that individuals who biked to work were less likely to develop high cholesterol, as compared to those who did not.
3. Running or Jogging
Jogging is a great exercise for lowering cholesterol, and for managing your weight. Don’t think that you have to race, though. Just an easy jog for a few miles may be better for lowering cholesterol level, than a fast sprint around the block.
A study in 2013 AND published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reported that long-distance runners reported significantly better improvements in HDL cholesterol levels, as compared to short-distance runners (whic is less than 10 miles a week). Also, they reported better improvements in their blood pressure.
Swimming is probably the most joint-saving aerobic exercise that you can do. In a 2010 study, researchers compared swimming with walking in women participants whose age ranges from 50 to 70 years. They reported that swimming improved body fat distribution, body weight, and LDL cholesterol levels better than walking did.
Also, researchers studied the beneficial effects of swimming in men in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education. They reported that swimmers had 53%, 50%, and 49% lower risk of dying from any cause as compared to men who were sedentary, runners, or walkers respectively.
5. Weight Lifting
Lifting weights or doing other resistance exercises, such as using resistance bands or even your own body weight, is very helpful on its own, and especially as part of an exercise program that includes aerobic exercise as well.
Yoga is generally a low-intensity exercise, but, studies have reported that it may reduce your risk of heart disease, and also may positively affect cholesterol levels.
A review in 2014 reported that those who regularly practiced yoga have shown significant improvement in HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and blood pressure over those who did not exercise.
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